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>> Tornado Safety - Practice Safety Before the Storm

Prevention and planning before and during the storm

Everyone wants his or her home or dwelling to provide safety and security, especially in the event of a dangerous storm or tornado. That's why practicing and planning before the storm makes sense and can make the difference of protecting your family and loved ones from flying debris and tornado-force wind damage.

First things first, be aware and have a safety plan in place.

  • Know where to tune into for the latest warnings and alerts in your area and how they are broadcasted. For example, local TV and radio is usually informed, but remember to include the NOAA Weather Radio.

  • Keep basic safety supplies ready. Make sure to prepare any items you may need before the event of a dangerous storm or tornado. Include things like bottled water, blankets, pets, first-aid kit, flashlights, batteries, change of clothes, and food. Keep these things in your shelter or make it easily accessible and available at a moments notice.

  • Once you have your plan, make sure everyone in the family knows the routine. Consider running a drill with your family or co-workers. Practice makes perfect and many times practice will remove worry and provide assurance in itself as well as be automatic when the need arises.

Knowing the signs of a dangerous or damaging storm or tornado makes for an experienced decision ahead of time. For example, understanding the news from weather forecasters as well as have a wary eye in your area can make the difference especially since most tornado warnings occur quickly and without much warning. So be on the lookout for the following:

  • Consistent and strong wind rotation in the clouds

  • Heavy rain with spots of hail which precede an unexpected calm in the air or dramatic wind shifts

  • Look for ground-based whirling debris, as sometimes a tornado funnel isn't visible above, but the effects will be

  • Continuous rumbling noise, like a freight train, which doesnít fade like thunder, dissipates

  • Consider downloading a weather radar app on your phone or other device to keep an eye on the constantly changing conditions while down in your storm shelter.
  • If it is at night, look for white and green-blue flashes in the sky near the ground, which may indicate power lines being snapped due to the strong winds.

For more tornado or storm preparedness, read some additional safety plans and checklists to help you and your family stay safe and secure during a dangerous storm or tornado.

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